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Q. How are the Nephilim/giants mentioned in Scripture after the flood to be understood if one of the reasons of the flood was to destroy that unholy mixture of demons and the daughters of men recorded in Genesis 6?

Hey Bob,

I just ready your article about the Sons of God and daughters of men (https://bible.org/seriespage/7-sons-god-and-daughters-men-genesis-61-8). It was well written, thank you. Usually when someone supports that position, I have found the opinions that follow are pretty outlandish. I found your article fairly convincing.

My question is this (if you don’t mind): You referenced Numbers 13:33 and the sons of Anak. If at least part of the purpose of the flood is to destroy these hybrid giants, why would these giants still be around after the flood? Your quote is, “I therefore understand the Nephilim to be a race of super-humans who are the product of this angelic invasion of the earth”. Wouldn’t they have died off in the flood?

Thanks in advance for your answer.

Answer

Dear *****,

Thanks for the note. Right now I am reading a book by Michael S. Heiser, entitled, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the supernatural worldview of the Bible. It comes pretty highly recommended, but I’m reading cautiously. But he does make a point of showing how the Bible reflects the (largely) unseen spiritual realm (Psalm 82; Job 38:4-7; Ephesians 3:8-10). Thus, it is not surprising to read Genesis 6 in this light, and to see the “sons of God” as angelic beings (who did not keep their own domain -- Jude 1:6).

Now, your question is, “How do we explain ‘giants’ (described by the same word Nephilim) later on, after the fall? My inclination is to understand the term Nephilim as meaning “giants” (human or supernatural). The Nephilim of Genesis 6 were angelic, and thus giants. Later on there were still “giants” in the land -- those folks who were exceedingly large, like Goliath, his kin (1 Chronicles 20:5), and others like him (1 Chronicles 11:22-23). As I read the text, these were not supernatural beings, as found earlier in Genesis, which were destroyed by the flood, but simply a group of extra-large people. These appeared at various times in Israel’s history.

Hope this helps,

Bob Deffinbaugh

Related Topics: Text & Translation

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